Glasgow Architecture Firm adopts innovative nine-day Fortnight

Callum Houston, Holmes Miller

GLASGOW-BASED architectural firm Holmes Miller has officially transitioned to a nine-day fortnight after a successful trial period. The employee-driven decision aims to boost project collaboration, foster a positive office culture, and enhance work-life balance.

The 72-hour working fortnight, implemented at the start of January, involves a slight reduction in contracted hours without any loss of pay. A three-month trial phase preceded the formal adoption, ensuring no negative impact on project delivery or client services and gauging employee satisfaction.

Callum Houston, Managing Director at Holmes Miller, highlighted the goal of creating an inclusive and balanced work environment. The nine-day fortnight won the staff vote among various flexible working options.

“Our main aim with this change was to create an inclusive, welcoming, balanced work environment that maintains the wellbeing and job satisfaction of our high-calibre team. After considering several different flexible working pattern options, we took them to a staff vote, and the overwhelming winner was a nine-day fortnight.”

Shazil Saleem, architectural assistant at Holmes Miller, shared the positive impact, stating, “Since the nine-day fortnight was introduced, I’ve been able to attend Friday prayers, learn new skills outside of work, attend appointments that don’t disrupt or take time out of my working hours and achieve an overall better work-life balance.”

Rachel George, another architectural assistant, emphasised improved rest and productivity: “I’ve been able to get more rest, which has positively affected my productivity during the week. It’s also allowed me to reconnect with old hobbies.”

In addition to providing every tenth day off, the new working model incorporates core working hours, flexible start and finish times, off-peak travel advantages, and support for childcare responsibilities. Hybrid working credits allow occasional remote work.

“While hybrid working has become the post-pandemic norm, we felt the arrangement of our staff splitting their time between office and home wasn’t delivering the best outcome either for them or our clients. As a creative business, it’s important our staff can work collaboratively.” Houston acknowledged the importance of collaborative work in a creative business.

They noted that while hybrid working is prevalent post-pandemic, it may not deliver the best outcomes for staff and clients. The innovative approach prioritises health and wellbeing while maintaining optimal business performance.

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